Our future in Personal Care

Since 1856, for five generations of the Bentley family, Stephenson Group has built a reputation for the consistent high quality of its products.

Since 1856, for five generations of the Bentley family, Stephenson Group has built a reputation for the consistent high quality of its products. Never one to follow the status quo; we have always innovated, led from passion and stayed true to our beliefs. Deep family values and a commitment to putting customer needs first, are what’s helped us stay successful for over 160 years.

Originally involved in the wool processing industry, when this industry came into decline, Stephenson Group used the soap technology it had developed for cleaning wool in a wider range of industries, such as paper, rubber, and more recently in personal care.

Our Group of companies comprise of Stephenson Personal Care, Stephenson Textile Chemicals, Stephenson Alkon Solutions, and more recently, Sustain® – an innovative new business-to-business brand with a product that’s set to revolutionise the carbonated soft drinks market.

As we have evolved, we have become a leading innovator and manufacturer of speciality ingredients, bases and process materials – creating a strong brand within the personal care market. What each of our businesses has in common is surfactant technology and an ethos of ‘Creative Chemistry’, where we make it simple for our customers to innovate and add value to their products.

A key strategy over the past three years has been to divest our non-core businesses. Our ‘Serfax’ business was sold in 2014, and in September 2016, we sold our Alkon Solutions business to the Polymer Solutions Group (PSG). Whilst this was a difficult decision to make, it was definitely the right call for Stephenson Group at this time. Under the Stephenson Group brand, since 1985 Alkon Solutions has specialised in anti-tack release agents, successfully supplying global customers in the rubber and tire industry. PSG is a manufacturer of anti-tack systems for the rubber market. It is backed by private equity investor Arsenal Capital, and specialises in formulated polymer and polymer additive systems.

"As we have evolved, we have become a leading innovator and manufacturer of speciality ingredients, bases and process materials – creating a strong brand within the personal care market."

Although this means there will be great change for our two companies, it is going to be beneficial to both parties. PSG can continue becoming global industry leaders, whilst Stephenson Group can concentrate more on what we do best: focusing our efforts into the dynamic and growing personal care industry as a speciality bases and ingredients producer.

Our Personal Care Team

Having now exited the paper and rubber sectors, we are in a position to focus on our future with our ‘Stephenson Personal Care’ business; maximising the value in our heritage, continuing to invest in R&D and into a talented team of people taking the business forward in the personal care sector.

Therefore, it is now time to build a structure that will support the growth plans for the wider business, that include organic growth and new product development. To achieve this growth, we have created more structure in our Personal Care team and a clear leadership pulling together all aspects of Sales, Marketing, Technical Support and Customer Experience.

To this end, the Stephenson Group Board is delighted to announce that James Clews has been promoted to Sales & Marketing Director (Personal Care). James will lead the Personal Care team and sit on the Group Board. To support James’ position, we have created a new Senior Management Team, including:

  • Rachael Simpson - Group Marketing Manager
  • Chris Holmes - Director of Business Development
  • Peter Ellis - Director of Business Development
  • Lucy Bilbrough - Financial Controller

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